How long, Lord?- a powerful prayer of hope

By Dave Henning / April 6, 2017

” ‘How long, Lord?’ in the Bible is seen as a powerful prayer of hope.  Far from a complaint, this lament is a bold declaration that God is present, hears, and is powerful to act on our behalf.”- Esther Fleece

“How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?”- Habakkuk 1:2

In Chapter 7 (How long?”) of No More Faking Fine, Esther Fleece stresses that, in Scripture, the expression “How long, Lord?” stakes our hope in God, the only One able to save.  Thus, Esther asserts, Scripture normalizes “How long?” questions.  After all, the alternative looks ominous.  Ms. Fleece explains:

“When we keep our laments locked inside, we bubble up with bitterness toward God.  We become buried under our own frustration and doubt.  But when we bring our concerns to God and ask Him openly, ‘Lord, how long?’ it opens both a conversation and an opportunity for us to be transformed in the waiting.”

Similarly, the author notes, we lament, mourn, and wail when God’s provision for us changes.  For example, at times it seems we don’t hear from God like we used to or He provides in an unfamiliar way.  This weaning process is:

  • a healthy and necessary part of growing up spiritually
  • painful

However, Esther encourages us to see weaning as something we celebrate because we’re confident of who God is.  Also, we know He always has our best interests in mind.

Yet, the minute things go wrong, we slip into default mode.  We question God’s care and provision for us.  Esther cautions:

“We mistakenly categorize God’s care as circumstantial rather than based on His character that has stayed constant and true throughout the ages.”

In conclusion, a shift in what God’s provision looks like doesn’t equate to the nonexistence of that provision.  Also, our dependency on God continues all our earthly days.  Esther observes:

“As we grow into older followers of Christ, our dependence on Him may look different, but is never goes away . . . . Each season holds a beauty that can be celebrated, and each birthing and weaning season can hold a lament.”

Today’s question: How do you use “How long, Lord?” as a powerful prayer of hope?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog; “Intent on reaching resolution”

About the author

Dave Henning

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